Posts

March 12, 2015

+
2:03 PM | Ever Wish You Could Put Ernst Haeckel On Your Lamp Shade? Now You Can
If you’re like me, you’ve always wanted Ernst Haeckel in your house. Well, not literally Ernst Haeckel, the great 19th century biologist (although that would be cool, in alive form).... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
+
12:00 PM | H7N9: Primus Inter Pares?
  Credit Eurosurveillance   # 9813   Although well known (and respected) by infectious disease geeks, yesterday’s publication in Nature: Dissemination, Divergence & Establishment of H7N9 In China has suddenly thrust this H7 avian flu virus into the limelight, casting it in the role of the potentially driving the next influenza pandemic. It isn’t alone, of course.  There are other pandemic contenders out there, including the venerable […]
+
11:49 AM | What is safe to eat when pregnant?
Daughter 2-of-5, who is due shortly, asked food safety dad, I know to avoid deli meats, but is it OK to eat pepperettes? I asked Chapman (it’s his job, he’s in extension). “Most are shelf stable based on pH and … Continue reading →
+
11:37 AM | City, state assumed the other was inspecting hospital kitchens in Illinois
After looking through inspection reports for 12 Chicago hospitals, the 2 Investigators found critical food violations. Even worse, they uncovered a bureaucratic problem that left some hospital kitchens with no oversight at all. The city thought state government was inspecting the kitchens, … Continue reading →
+
11:25 AM | Speaking of audits: Most wrongful-death lawsuits settled in Listeria outbreak
A Denver judge has wrapped up most of the wrongful-death lawsuits stemming from a 2011 listeria outbreak traced to a cantaloupe farm that killed more than 30 people and sickened more than 140 others. The Denver District Court judge approved … Continue reading →
+
11:20 AM | But will fewer people get sick? USDA seeks alignment of GAPs audit with food safety law
The Good Agricultural Practices audit offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for fruit and vegetable growers will be updated to reflect the requirements of the regulations from the Food Safety Modernization Act. The new joint GAPs review project includes … Continue reading →
+
9:21 AM | 64 now sick with Salmonella from small-town Texas restaurant
For a Texas town of barely 8,000 people, 64 sick from Salmonella linked to the same restaurant is a lot. Officials say 12 additional cases came from the X10 In Texas Restaurant in Dalhart after it voluntarily closed when the … Continue reading →
+
9:09 AM | Unpasteurised goat’s milk cheese recalled in UK because of Listeria
Neals Yard Creamery has recalled a batch of its 200g Ragstone unpasteurised goat’s milk cheese because high levels of Listeria monocytogenes have been found in the product.
+
9:03 AM | 20 sick in new Salmonella outbreak: Australia still has an egg problem
Amy figures we ate at this place last year. At least 20 people are believed to have been hospitalised after eating at Broadbeach cafe Grocer and Grind. The venue’s head chef is reportedly among those admitted to hospital. Some of … Continue reading →
+
9:00 AM | Oncogenes and RNA splicing of human tumor viruses
Oncogenic viruses, with the exception of HCV, require the host RNA splicing machinery in order to exercise their oncogenic activities. Continue reading →
+
8:45 AM | Australian mums go for placenta smoothies
My first four daughters were born at home. We buried the placentas under trees to commemorate the kids. Some people make soup. At least that’s a kill step. But a smoothie? And of course, it’s the affluent. An ancient practice of … Continue reading →
+
8:06 AM | Baltimore restaurants soon forced to post health ratings in window
Critics worry anything less than a perfect health rating will hurt a restaurant’s financial bottom line. But, nonetheless, it appears Baltimore will join a long list of cities already posting health ratings in restaurant windows. Eat out in New York … Continue reading →
+
7:43 AM | The Power of Fungal GeneticsCassava for Food Security and Sustainability in Colombia
by Chris Condayan | ASM traveled to Colombia to film researchers from the University of Lausanne – Switzerland, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and the Universidad de la Salle – Utopia campus, who are working to create and test novel strains of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to improve cassava production. Click through to watch the video...
+
2:31 AM | Do they care about humans? The money involved in food safety recalls
Food safety is top-of-mind among many consumers and producers of food. It is also a continuum, because the more a food firm spends on effective technologies and protocols to ensure safe food, the greater chance the foods are protected against … Continue reading →
+
2:04 AM | Hockey, restaurant inspection and Boca
There was this one time, Amy and I went to a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game, to see Wayne coach, and the guy behind us wouldn’t stop talking about this cougar he had in Boca, and he kept leaning into Amy, … Continue reading →
+
2:02 AM | Is chronic wasting disease a threat to humans?
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease of cervids (deer, elk, moose). It was first detected in Wyoming and Colorado, and has since spread rapidly throughout North America (illustrated; image credit). Because prions that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, mad cow disease) are known to infect humans, there is concern that CWD might also cross the […]
+
1:39 AM | Food safety doesn’t happen in an office
About 15 years ago, I was a goofy grad student without a lot of ambition. I had an interest in infectious diseases, genetics and how people talked about risk. Not necessarily in that order. I found Doug and he set me up with a project working with … Continue reading →
+
1:34 AM | New Zealand closes online fish market
Bored suburbanites like to dabble in risk, and I never understood the term black market, other than it was offensive. Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers today terminated an operation against four groups in Auckland who were selling seafood. … Continue reading →
+
1:27 AM | Philosophy, food and schnapps: Herring recalled because of Clostridium in Canada
I still have fond memories of a misspent youth building houses in the summer, drinking schnapps, eating pickled herring, and talking philosophy with my Danish mentor, John. He was also a great dancer. So it pains me a little to … Continue reading →
+
1:17 AM | Probiotics for athletes? Possible someday, but right now - I (and others) don't think so
Nice article in Outside Magazine by David Despain: Should You Be Taking Probiotics? | Performance Plate | OutsideOnline.com.  The article has comments from me, Peter Turnbaugh and Ellen Silbergeld.  The article discusses some of the overhyped claims about probiotics and athletic performance and even mentions my Overselling the Microbiome award.  I like in particular the following paragraph:The biggest issue scientists currently have with probiotics, however, […]

March 11, 2015

+
7:11 PM | Nature: Dissemination, Divergence & Establishment of H7N9 In China
# 9812   On a day that has hardly lacked for avian flu news (see APHIS: HPAI H5N2 Confirmed In Arkansas Turkey Flock & WHO: Updated H5N1 Cumulative Case Count Table), perhaps the most eagerly awaited story has been the publication of an analysis of the H7N9 virus in China, authored by a veritable `Who’s Who’ of virology. Since both Declan Butler and Debra Mackenzie have already published overviews, I’ll avoid re-inventing the wheel and post the link to […]
+
5:48 PM | Saudi MOH: 2 New MERS Cases, 2 Deaths
# 9812  
+
5:42 PM | APHIS: HPAI H5N2 Confirmed In Arkansas Turkey Flock
# 9811   Although I find nothing posted yet on the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s website, USDA’s APHIS is reporting that the turkey farm under suspicion last night has tested positive for HPAI H5N2.   Arkansas becomes the third state in a week to report flocks infected with these recently arrived H5 viruses, and the 9th state since the first reports came in last November.   While migratory birds are being eyed as spreading these viruses to […]
+
5:20 PM | Meet Your Mites: Family Style
Over the last few months, our first cohort of Students Discover Kenan Fellows have been busy in their classrooms piloting and refining the citizen science curricula they co-created with their scientist mentors from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. If you dropped by their middle school classrooms, you would have seen students busy collecting and analyzing all sorts of new data. They’ve deployed camera traps in schoolyards to capture the secret lives of urban mammals. They’ve […]
+
5:02 PM | MIT: Genetic Changes In A 2014 Indian H1N1pdm09 Virus
Flu Virus binding to Receptor Cells – Credit CDC   # 9810   A little over a week ago, in EID Journal: Emergence of D225G Variant A/H1N1, 2013–14 Flu Season, Florida, we re-visited one of the mutations linked to greater virulence in the (formerly pandemic, now seasonal) A/H1N1pdm09 virus.   This relatively rare amino acid substitution at position 225 (222 using H1 Numbering) from aspartic acid (D) to glycine (G) allows the virus to bind to receptors found […]
+
2:04 PM | ISDR: The `Stop Disasters’ Simulation Game
  # 9809   Today marks the 4th anniversary of Japan’s Great earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 (see Four Years After Japan’s Great Earthquake & Tsunami), and while we understandably look back and mourn the losses of that day, we also need to be looking forward towards ways to reduce the impact of future disasters. Because if there is one thing we can count on in life, it is that disasters (of all kinds) will continue to befall mankind.   It is for […]
+
12:05 PM | The burden of foodborne illness: it’s kind of a big deal
Last week I gave a guest lecture to an undergraduate nutrition class at UNC-Chapel Hill on the burden of foodborne illness as sort of an introduction to how and why folks like small farmers, school garden managers, cafeteria staff address food safety. In a … Continue reading →
+
11:16 AM | WHO: Updated H5N1 Cumulative Case Count Table
Excerpted from WHO Case Count Table – March 3rd   # 9808   In yesterday’s WHO H5N1 Update – Egypt I mentioned that the latest cumulative H5N1 human case count table had not yet been uploaded, although based on the summary narrative it appeared that we’ve had `roughly * 88 cases, and 24 deaths’  reported in Egypt since the first of the year. Overnight a new chart has been published, and in it we find a slight adjustment to the 2014 […]
+
8:34 AM | Salmonella found in raw milk tested by FSAI
A new report published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) shows that raw milk could cause food poisoning. According to the results of a FSAI microbiological test, samples of raw milk contained rates of Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter … Continue reading →
+
8:30 AM | Building models to predict and prevent Salmonella outbreaks
Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (SPH) and College of Veterinary Medicine are working together with industry to determine how high Salmonella levels in ground turkey and ground beef have to be before they pose a … Continue reading →
456789101112
356 Results